Following up on our three earlier posts covering the strike action in front of the RER/TGV station, which later moved on to Main Street before reaching Fantasyland and Discoveryland before culminating in the cancellation of the final ever performance of the “Once Upon a Dream Parade” our team member wraps up day one of the two day strike and its impact on the parks.
After 100 to 200 CMs had noisely marched down the Main Street. through the castle, into Fantasyland only to turn around at the carousel and then head into Discoveryland (where they prompted a temporary closure of Space Mountain: Mission 2) about 50 of them placed themselves at the top of the Main Street at Central Plaza right in the middle of the parade route – as can be seen above.
It should be noted that only a small group of cast members joint into the latter part of the action – despite the strikers (without success) earlier during their march through the park trying to convince cast members working on-stage to join their action. While the small group of 50 celebrated the cancellation of the final ever parade in the face of the disappointed guests
the cancellation was not so much due to the group sitting on the parade route (as far as must be assumed) but due to the involvement of cast members in the strike which are needed to operate the parade. For the same reason earlier in the day the strike already had resulted in the cancellation of the Stars’n'Cars parade in the Walt Disney Studios Park. Update: as Vicki has informed us through her comment below, the striking cast members sitting down on the parade route were the actual reason for the cancellation. The whole parade was lined up backstage and ready to perform (and apparently would have even featured extra performers for the unique opportunity).
However, just as they had done during the last strike on December 23rd 2009 the characters that would have been featured in the “Once Upon a Dream Parade” walked into the park about 50 minutes after the cancellation of the parade. The dedicated cast members of the entertainment department – which have not joined the strike – did their best to add some magic to the visit of the guests and compensate for the cancellation of the parade.
In addition guest “Vikki” reports in a comment to our strike coverage that various attractions saw temporary closures for “technical issues” throughout the day – which could be related to the strike action as well. Luckily the cancellation of the parade was the final major impact of the strike felt by guests in the parks on Friday. However, day two is coming up on Saturday. When our team-member on-site asked one of the cast members whether he had any information what the unions plan for Saturday he was told that this information has not yet been provided. Apparently the strike leaders wanted to assess the impact of their actions on Friday first. As for today the leading union of the strike, CFDT, has called its members to meet at 7:00 am at the RER station to start the work action. However, it should be considered that on Saturday international press and VIPs will be out in the parks as part of the 20th Anniversary kick-off event. Therefore, it must be feared that the unions will try hard to be visible inside the park to show their “muscle” and get more widespread coverage of their actions.